The 49ers have a rare quartet of 1,000-yard players; Dolphins and Lions could do the same


The San Francisco 49ers and their deep group of playmakers accomplished a rare feat.

They soon could have company from the Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions.

Tight end George Kittle became the latest Niners player to eclipse 1,000 yards from scrimmage this season, joining Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.

That made San Francisco the sixth team ever to have four players hit that mark in one season, joining the 2020 Carolina Panthers, the 2004 Indianapolis Colts, 1995 Atlanta Falcons, 1990 Houston Oilers and 1989 Washington.

McCaffrey leads the way with 2,023 yards for the fifth-best total in franchise history. It is the second time he has eclipsed 2,000 yards from scrimmage after doing it with Carolina in 2019. He joins Erik Dickerson and Marshall Faulk as the only players to do it with two franchises.

San Francisco also has a 4,000-yard passer, with Brock Purdy setting a franchise record with 4,280 — two more than Jeff Garcia’s total in 2000.

Of the previous teams with four 1,000-yard players, only the Colts, Falcons and Oilers also had a 4,000-yard passer.

The Dolphins can join that group if rookie De’Von Achane gains 64 yards next week to join teammates Tyreek Hill, Raheem Mostert and Jaylen Waddle with at least 1,000. Tua Tagovailoa already has more than 4,000 yards passing.

The Lions also have an outside shot at it but would need rookie Sam LaPorta to get 136 yards to join Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery with at least 1,000 yards from scrimmage. Jared Goff already has hit the 4,000-yard mark in passing.

The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up their eighth straight AFC West title when they beat Cincinnati on Sunday.

That’s the second-longest streak in NFL history, trailing only the 11 straight division titles won by New England from 2009-19.

Kansas City’s nine straight playoff berths are tied with Indianapolis (2002-10) and Dallas (1975-83) for the second-longest streak, behind only the 11-year run for the Patriots.

While the Chiefs have dominated the AFC West, no one has been able to do that in the NFC East. If the Cowboys win on Sunday or if the Eagles lose, it will mark the 19th straight season a team failed to repeat as division champions. Philadelphia was the last to do it in 2003-04.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin extended his impressive streak of never having a losing record after the Steelers beat Seattle for their ninth win of the season.

The Steelers have gone 20 straight seasons without a losing record — one shy of Dallas’ record set from 1965-85. Tomlin has been the coach for 17 of those seasons, trailing only Tom Landry (21 straight seasons) and Bill Belichick (19) for the longest streaks for a coach.

The New England Patriots end their season against their favorite opponent of late, aiming for a 16th straight win over the New York Jets.

Only four teams have ever beaten an opponent 16 straight times in the regular season. Kansas City’s 16-game streak against Denver ended earlier this season.

Washington had a 16-game winning streak over Detroit from 1968-97, San Francisco beat the Rams 17 times in a row from 1990-98 and Miami had 20 straight wins against Buffalo from 1970-79.

If the Patriots lose, there will be more on the line than just the streak. It would also be the 178th loss of Belichick’s career, including the playoffs, which would tie Landry for the most ever. A loss on Sunday would also tie the record of 165 regular-season losses held by Jeff Fisher and Dan Reeves.

Joe Flacco’s journey from his couch to the Cleveland Browns’ huddle led to one of the most prolific months ever for a quarterback.

Flacco made his debut for Cleveland on Dec. 3 after sitting out all season and threw for 1,616 yards and 13 TDs to help the Browns win four out of five games in December to clinch a playoff berth. Flacco threw more TD passes in December than the Jets (11), Titans (12) and Steelers (12) have all season.

This marked just the fifth time in NFL history that a quarterback threw for at least 1,600 yards and 13 TDs in a calendar month, with Patrick Mahomes doing it in October 2018, Peyton Manning in November 2014 and December 2013, and Jim Kelly in September 1991.

During Cleveland’s four-game winning streak, Flacco has thrown for at least 300 yards with two or more TDs in all of those games. The only other players to do that during a four-game winning streak in a season since 2000 are Manning (twice), Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Kurt Warner.

The Chicago Bears are the recipients of the No. 1 pick in the draft for a second straight season — although this time they didn’t have to endure all the losses to get it.

The Carolina Panthers clinched the worst record in the NFL less than 10 months after trading their 2024 first-round pick to Chicago as part of a package to move up from No. 9 to No. 1 in last year’s draft.

The most recent time a team traded the pick that turned out to be No. 1 before the season came in 1983 when Cincinnati dealt quarterback Jack Thompson to Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers went 2-14 in 1983 and had to send the top pick in the 1984 draft to Cincinnati. The Bengals then traded that pick to New England. The Patriots drafted Irving Fryar No. 1.

The same thing happened five years earlier when San Francisco traded the pick that turned out to be No. 1 overall to Buffalo for O.J. Simpson.

The Bills used the pick on Tom Cousineau, who went to Canada instead of signing with Buffalo and then later was traded to Cleveland when he came back to the NFL.

That 1979 draft worked out just fine for San Francisco even without the top pick. The Niners drafted Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana in the third round.



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